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Source: Official Guide for the GMAT 13th Ed. Sentence Correction; #47 Official Guide for the GMAT 2015 14th Ed. Sentence Correction; #47

1

In 1713, Alexander Pope began his translation

In 1713, Alexander Pope began his translation of the Iliad, a work that, taking him seven years until completion, and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope's contemporary, pronounced the greatest translation in any language.

A. his translation of the Illiad, a work that, taking him seven years until completion, and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced
B. his translation of the Illiad, a work that took him seven years to complete and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced
C. his translation of the Illiad, a work that had taken seven years to complete and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced it is
D. translating the Illiad, a work that took seven years until completion and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced it as
E. translating the Illiad, a work that had taken seven years to complete and literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced it

3 Explanations

1

Harsh Vardhan

In the answer choice B- "and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced"
Samuel Johnson is the subject. Where is the verb for the subject.? What I understand, pronounced can not be the working verb as it is in verb-ed form.

Any comments will be useful.

Nov 2, 2016 • Comment

Adam

Hi Harsh! "Pronounced" is indeed the full verb here. The "-ed" in this case means that the verb is in the simple past form.

Just because a verb ends in -ed doesn't mean its a past participle — it can be serving as the full verb!

There's a GMAT Club thread on figuring out which is which:

http://gmatclub.com/forum/indentifying-participles-vs-verbs-139379.html

Nov 2, 2016 • Reply

1

John Jojo Punnakudiyil

Hi Mike,

pronounced 'it' - Here it clearly refers to translation of the Illiad right?

1)So what is wrong in putting an 'it'?
2)What is the need of 'that' in 'and that literary critic Samuel Johnson'?

Thanks,
John.

Sep 19, 2015 • Comment

Hannah Baker, Magoosh Tutor

Hi John,
The answers to these two questions are closely related :)

The reason we don't use "it" here even though it would clearly refer to the translation, is that we already refer to the translation with the word "that" when we say "and that literary critic [...]". So we can't use both "that" and "it", because it is redundant.

Now, the reason we use "that" rather than "it" is because we already have "that + [description]" earlier in the sentence, and we need to maintain our parallel structure. So we use "that + [description]" again. We can see this parallel structure more clearly by putting the sentence in simpler terms:

Pope's translation is a work that took 7 years to complete, and that was called the greatest translation of the Iliad in any language.

We wouldn't say the translation was "a work that took 7 years to complete, and a critic called it the best translation in any language." This is all out of whack. Once we start a pattern, we need to finish it, and this mixes up two structures into one.

I hope this helps clear things up!

Nov 2, 2015 • Reply

1

Gravatar Mike McGarry, Magoosh Tutor

May 22, 2013 • Comment

Saurabh Soni

Between choice A, B & C, can we eliminate A & C on parallelism?
A) a work that, taking.... and that... pronounced
B) a work that took... and that... pronounced...
C)a work that had taken... and that...pronounced

May 21, 2016 • Reply

Adam

Hi Saurabh,

We cannot eliminate C) for parallelism—we can only eliminate it for the fact that "it" has no antecedent.

The difference in tense "had taken" and "pronounced" simply means that the work took 7 years to complete before Johnson pronounced it the greatest translation in any language. This is not incorrect parallelism.

May 23, 2016 • Reply

Cole Dotson

To clarify any confusion:
I believe at 1:19 in the video, Mike misspoke and said "past participle" when describing the term "had taken" .... he surely meant to say "past perfect" tense and not past participle. He correctly says it at 1:36.

Feb 13, 2021 • Reply

Adam , Magoosh Tutor

That's right! He should have said "past perfect" there. Good catch, thanks for pointing it out!

Feb 14, 2021 • Reply

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